UK charity Missing People and bus and coach operator Stagecoach have joined together on a campaign that will encourage people in crisis to call the free and confidential helpline before they think of disappearing.
In October the charity launched a new preventative campaign aimed at reaching more people who are in crisis over things including financial issues, and food insecurity, with the campaign now expanding to have the Missing People helpline printed on Stagecoach Bus Tickets.
Jo Youle Chief Executive of Missing People said, “We are particularly pleased with this important partnership and continued support from Stagecoach who are playing an instrumental role in our drive to prevent people in crisis from disappearing. The printing of helpline number on Stagecoach bus tickets is our hope that someone in crisis sees it and we can be the support they need before they leave “
The roll out of the campaign began at the end of November with the charity confirming that calls from people in need who have seen the number on the ticket have started coming in.
Stagecoach bus tickets will now have “If you feel like disappearing or know someone who has gone missing, find ‘Missing People’ for support. Call the free helpline on 116 000 which is confidential and non-judgemental” printed at the top of the ticket.
Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive for Stagecoach said: “With over 2 million passenger journeys a day, in every corner of the UK, we know public transport plays such an important part in communities. By reaching so many people every day we can raise awareness of the great work Missing People do, not only for those who are missing and thinking of going missing but also supporting their loved ones too.
“We are delighted that this initiative has already helped numerous people in the short time it has been live. Our drivers have also played a really important role in getting the message out there by signposting those they may see as vulnerable to the number on their tickets which resulted in a call to Missing People’s helpline.”
Missing People’s recent research showed that four in 10 missing adults tried to take their own life while missing, while the National Crime Agency’s figures show that the number of people dying while missing has increased year on year for the past three years, with suicide the most common cause.
The charity is concerned that these numbers will increase as people face greater financial hardships and will see a rise in the number of people reported missing or taking their own lives.
If you have been affected, Missing People’s Helpline is 116 000 by phone or text. The free and confidential Helpline is available from 9 am-11 pm, 7 days a week.
To find out more about the work done by Missing People visit https://www.missingpeople.org.uk/